A Real Life Downton Abby
Ballyfin is in the center of Ireland. It's a two and a half hour drive from Galway and an hour and a half drive from Dublin. And when you are there you are as far away from the rest of the world as you can get. No worries, no problems, no concerns. Surrounded by 600 acres of gardens, fountains, and walking paths, you just lose yourself in escape. And the general manager of Ballyfin, Damien Bastiat couldn't be more pleased than when you do.
"We love to be an escape. Not everyone can offer that, but we can and we do." Bastiat has been the manager for eight years now and thrives on the daily challenge of meeting everyone's every need.
It's like a museum. Every room is restored to it's original 1826 glory. From the furniture to the architecture to the private art collection supplied mostly by it's owner, Fred Krehbeil, a billionaire from Chicago who is personally invested in the history and the future of Ballyfin.
There are only 20 rooms there, which means you have the run of the house and can spend time lounging in the library, sitting in the conservatory, walking the grounds or just taking in the ambiance. The rooms are all individually decorated, and all equally elegant.
So, why was I there? I seriously lucked out in being invited to write about a Michelin Star Chef event happening there. More on that to come.